Getting Started

The first thing I am going to write about it getting started.  Because I am.  Getting started, that is.

It actually happens all the time.  My husband makes fun of me for it.  Nicely.  Mostly.

Every time I’ve started something, I’m pretty scared.  I’m not very brave.  But generally it turns out pretty well, and then I forget how hard it was.   Next thing you know, I’m starting something else–and the panic starts right along with it again.

In 2010, I took on the job of editor and primary writer of a startup regional magazine .  Even though I’d only written one magazine article in my life, twenty years earlier, I figured I could do it.

And I did.  It means so much to me when people still come up and say, “I loved that magazine.  I wish you were still doing it.”  I tell them the good news:  the magazine is back again in an online version, and the current editor is great.  I write for her from time to time.

Before that, I ditched (for a while) doing database consulting to write a novel.  When I was making a lot of money in the database years, I couldn’t imagine not doing it.  But then one day, that changed, and I needed time off to write.  A book poured out of me, based on a topic about which I knew almost nothing.  I lived to research in those days.  It’s in revisions now with my agent, whom I am profoundly grateful to have guiding me.

I started a little retail business in 2009, too.  I was terrified.  I remember one day lying on my dining room floor in fetal position crying because it felt so difficult.  (“I have to get a tax id!  I don’t know how to get a tax id!” I wailed.  Definitely not your cutting-edge global dynamo businesswoman tycoon here.)

I just started taking Bikram yoga classes again, after a ten-or-better year break.  That’s seriously getting started, because I knew what was ahead of me and I’d been dreading it for ten years.  Bikram, in case you haven’t had the joy of doing it, is something one could, concievably dread.  (She said, laughing.)

So being-scared-feeling-stupid-getting-started is starting to be a familiar feeling.  I’ve learned that if I’m nervous, if I’m scared, if it feels overwhelming, I’m probably right where I should be.

Getting started on this blog has been happening for about a year now.  That’s about how long I have known for sure that I needed to do it.  I need to build a platform for my book, I love the work of writing and editing, and there’s other work I want to do for which a good blog will be a solid foundation.

Knowing that, I have procrastinated relentlessly.  For a year, for crying out loud!  I even stopped reading other blogs I love because they made me feel guilty.

And then suddenly, I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer.

For the last couple of weeks I pretended I was actually starting by looking at lots and lots of blogs and other blogs and seeing how they were laid out, deciding if I liked their tone, thinking about a strategy for getting quickly to be a guest blogger.

The last two weeks have been an almost-horrifying daily recognition that It’s Time.  Really, REALLY  Time To Get Started.

So, here goes.  I’ve written two other blogs before and I know a little bit about what it takes to write one consistently and regularly.  At first, I was worried that I wouldn’t have anything to write about for this one—laughing—but now the ideas have come fast and furious in the past two days, and I have to start now or I’ll go nuts with things to write.

And that’s how it is, getting started on something.  You think you can’t, you think you can’t, you think you can’t…and then all of a sudden, not only do you absolutely know you can, and you know you have to, you cannot stand not doing it.  Right away.

And guess what:  learning WordPress after Blogspot is incredibly harder that I expected.  In other words, I couldn’t figure out how to implement the very beautiful, sophisticated layout I had designed in a reasonable amount of time in four hours.  LOL, go figure:  I feel stupid, overwhelmed, and a little bit scared.  Blogging is easy.  Templates, it turns out….not so easy.

Trust yourself.  Just keep your intentions clear, and things happen on your learning curve when they should.

Live your life, friends,